SpaceX astronaut’s launch delayed because his rocket crashed into a bridge

Oops.

Oops daisy

The first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket tasked with ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station next month collided with a bridge during transport, Space.com reports.

The damage was severe enough to delay the launch, which was pushed back to late September earlier this month.

The rocket stage was damaged while riding in the back of a tractor-trailer between California and Texas.

“We assessed that damage,” Benjamin Reed, senior director of SpaceX’s human spaceflight program, said during a NASA live stream on Thursday. “It was a fairly minor incursion, but it still caused some damage.”

It’s an unfortunate setback as SpaceX continues to struggle with ongoing hardware issues. The news comes after the space company had to replace a heat shield previously used for the next mission earlier this year.

To advance

There’s a lot to be said for a successful launch of Crew-5 right now, the fifth operational flight of a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

For one thing, the four-person crew includes a Russian cosmonaut. Despite ongoing tensions between Russia and the United States over the former’s invasion of Ukraine, the joint mission was announced earlier this year – and appears to be moving full steam ahead.

At the same time, Russia plans to abandon the ISS “after 2024” to devote more effort to building its own space station.

The Crew 5 astronauts seemed completely confident in their ride’s safety clearance at yesterday’s conference, and NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, mission commander, calmly addressed safety concerns.

“We are fully confident that NASA, SpaceX and international partners will not put us on a rocket or spacecraft that they believe is not ready to go,” Mann said.

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